Outside of the majors, today is one of the most exciting days of the year for pro golf fans when 32 of the world’s best players will be sent packing at the WGC-Accenture Match Play. This the last year that Dove Mountain outside Tucson will host the event, much to the joy of the players who have never taken to the Jack Nicklaus-designed course with its severely undulating greens and wacky weather (see last year’s snow delay). Despite the fickle nature of match play, where a player could play well and still lose, it’s a unique tournament that generates a lot more interest than a typical tour stop so it deserves a course worthy of its status. Here are our top five picks for the next host. What are yours?
1. Cypress Point. It’ll never happen, but we can dream, can’t we?
2. PGA West Stadium Course. The ultimate match-play course with risk-reward lurking at every turn.
3. Shadow Creek (above). It would be great to finally see this course for high rollers where Tom Fazio exceeded an unlimited budge. Plus, since this is Vegas, let the players do their own “bracket challenge” with a few of their own chips on the line.
4. Rancho Santa Fe. The Match Play can stay dry and classy at this historic Max Behr design in north San Diego County that played host to Bing Crosby’s first six "clambakes." Plus, club member Phil Mickelson will be much more likely to show up.
5. Seminole. Kick off the Florida Swing with the Match Play at this legendary Donald Ross design. When half the field loses the first day, they can walk home.